at Tue Jan 1 09:01:51 2013 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by ratsnakehaven ]
>>>>Big congrats again Toby! Any abnormalities in this clutch? They look perfect to me. How close is that mtn. range to the Santa Rita's?
>>No abnormalities in these three babies - all are perfect!
>>I am not sure offhand how close / distant those mountain ranges are, but they are separated from each other by enough distance that the populations of intermedia in both do not share gene flow, or at least not very much - and I consider them definitely seperate locales. Here is a map I found which shows the Santa Ritas and Pajaritos. http://www.csupomona.edu/~djmoriarty/az/az_sky_islands.htm
>>Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research
Cool map, Toby, and if you don't mind I'd like to add to the discussion of the location of the ranges. Actually the map leaves out some good info about the areas bt. the ranges. For instance, there are two more ranges bt. the Pajaritos and the Santa Ritas, the Atascosas and the Tumacacoris. The Pajaritos, Atascosas, and Tumacacoris are all connected and it's likely the green rats are in all three ranges, although I haven't seen them from the Tumacacoris, yet.
I'm working on an article for the SWCHR Bulletin this month and this will give me some practice. The Pajaritos are also connected to the Patagonias by a small range called the Cayetano Mtns, but the Santa Cruz River separates them, as well as separating the Patagonias from the Pajaritos. Then the Patagonias are connected to the Santa Ritas by a series of hills and washes, etc. I agree that they are all separate localities, but at some time in the past there has been gene flow bt. all of these ranges.
Green rats are unique in their habitat preferences. For instance, there are no voucher records for the Huachuca Mtns, which are in the midst of the Sky Islands that green rats do inhabit. Question is why? Green rats inhabit the northern Santa Ritas and there is gene flow across to the Empire Mtns, just south of the Rincon Mtns which they do not inhabit. And, yet, the eastern slopes of the Santa Ritas do not seem to be inhabited by green rats. This habitat is grassland. One can surmise from these observations that green rats don't like grasslands or heavily wooded areas, such as in the Huachucas. They also avoid the more northerly mountains which have Rocky Mountain vegetation, rather than Madrean vegetation.
Sorry for getting off topic a bit, but thought you could use this info here. BTW, I do see differences in the appearance of green rats from the Pajaritos as compared to the Santa Ritas.
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